Sunday, December 27, 2009

Travel: Town & Country, Sydney's Rockpool

Town & Country, December/January 2010

Neil Perry opens Australia's finest steak house

Courtesy Earl Carter Photography
By Julie Earle-Levine

Twenty years ago, chef Neil Perry made a splash Down Under when he launched his first restaurant, Sydney's Rockpool, a haven of fresh and inventive seafood dishes. Two decades later, Perry has finally opened a second Rockpool in Australia's cultural hub, this time with a focus on steak. Located inside an Art Deco building in the Financial District, the grand Rockpool Bar & Grill Sydney has thirty-foot columns and a soaring atrium.

On a typical weeknight, the ponytailed Perry hops between tables, offering advice to foodies, financial types and stylish travelers. His picks: the smoky, wood-fire-grilled Tasmanian steak, served with horseradish cream, and the aged-Wagyu burger. If you can't snag a seat in the austere dining room, pull up a stool at the bar, where you can witness Perry's team working its magic in the open kitchen while you sample one of the 3,700 wines on the list. 66 Hunter Street; 011-61-2-8078-1900; rockpool.com.